I'm not sure what Diane Silver was thinking when she was making this movie, but it obviously had nothing to do with Richard Wright's novel, which the movie is based on.
We read the novel this past summer for AP English 12, and just watched the film. During periodic note-taking and checking of the clock, I contemplated the chances of being struck by lightning. Of course, the sky was completely clear, and I was forced to watch the rest of the movie... and then write a 5-paragraph essay on it.
Wright's novel discussed very real themes, of the mind of a killer and the psychology behind it. Silver's movie turned a murderer into a victim, which is NOT what Wright wanted (see: "How Bigger was Born" 454).
I'm going to make this short and sweet: if you want to leave your consciousness, in Raphael Lambert's words, unsullied, skip the movie and read the book. The 1986 adaptation is not thought-provoking material.
... ::sigh:: Now I have to write the essay.
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